Once organ meats are cooked, they really don’t look that much different than other, more common cuts of meat. In their raw state, however, organs can be a little challenging. For some, the sight of a raw heart on a kitchen countertop doesn’t exactly stimulate the appetite. If you’re tempted to try cooking offal but don’t want too much face time with the raw product, then a Crock-Pot is the way to go.
A slow-cooker is the perfect “out of sight, out of mind” cooking method for organs that need a little tenderizing, like the heart. Christopher Williams’ “Heart on Fire’ recipe (submitted for the Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook Contest) is the perfect recipe for easing into offal. If you can manage to get the heart into a slow-cooker, then you don’t have to think about it for another 6 hours. It will emerge fully cooked and tender, looking not much different than a small roast nestled in a bed of tender vegetables. The scent that fills your kitchen will be rich and aromatic, heavy with an array of spices like cloves, allspice and paprika. The spices Christopher uses aren’t just for aroma, though, they pack a fiery kick that gives this dish its name. Christopher tames the fire by serving the slow-cooked heart on a creamy bed of kale simmered in coconut milk, bringing a cooling element and loads of extra nutrition to this dish.
Christopher uses beef heart that he’s lucky enough to get from a local grass-fed farm; we opted for pork heart that we found at a Hispanic grocery store. Farmers’ markets are another great place to buy offal, if there’s a vendor selling meat from their farm. To find a source near you, websites like EatWild.com and LocalHarvest.org can help locate farmers’ markets, family farms, and sources of grass-fed meat. Whether you choose to cook with beef, pork or lamb heart is up to you; pork tends to have the mildest flavor of the three. Although in a dish called “Heart of Fire” mild isn’t really the point. The spices and coconut milk will add plenty of flavor to enhance the heavy “meaty’ taste of beef and lamb heart, so don’t shy away from either.
This is the last in our series of organ meat recipes. Check back next week for seafood recipes.
- 1-2 hearts
- 2 chopped carrots
- 3 chopped celery hearts
- 1 chopped onion
- 2-3 (depending of size) chopped garlic cloves
- 3 chopped jalapenos (de-seeded to tame the spiciness)
- 3/4 cup coconut flakes
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 2 teaspoons cilantro flakes (or 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro)
- 1 large bunch of kale, sliced
- 1/2 can of coconut milk
Cut the heart in half and remove any valves and connective tissue with a sharp knife or kitchen shears.
Put 3/4th or so of the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, jalapenos, coconut flakes and spices in the bottom of the Crock-Pot to make a good base.
Place the heart in the Crock-Pot and cover it with the remaining veggies and spices. Add a cup or so of liquid (broth or water) and cook on low for about 6 hours.
When the heart is cooked, put the kale in a large pan, pour in the coconut milk and sauté until kale reaches desired softness (I like mine a little on the firmer side). Slice the heart into small pieces. Serve over kale.